Jack Sheppard

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Jack Sheppard can refer to the name of a historical character featured in a number of works, as well the title of such works, notably plays, based on his life.

Jack Sheppard the character

The story of the infamous British thief and jailbreaker Jack Sheppard[1] is well known and has led to numerous literary and theatrical works, including a well-known series of illustrations by George Cruikshank.

Among the many plays based on the character are Harlequin Sheppard, a pantomime by John Thurmond (1724), The Prison-Breaker, The Quaker's Opera (performed at Bartholomew Fair in 1725 and 1728), John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), Jack Sheppard, The Housebreaker, or London in 1724 by W. T. Moncrieff (1825), Jack Sheppard by J.B. Buckstone (1839), Little Jack Sheppard by Henry Pottinger Stephens and William Yardley (1886) and Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's The Threepenny Opera (1928).

A number of them have been performed in South Africa. To see details (and lists of and South African performances) of plays with other titles under the appropriate entries.

Jack Sheppard a drama in four acts by J.B. Buckstone

The original text

A drama in four acts by John Baldwin Buckstone (1802-1879)[2], it was based on William Harrison Ainsworth's novel of the same name (published January 1839). The play opened at the Adelphi Theatre, London, in October of the same year.

Translations and adaptations=

Performance history in South Africa

1876: Performed in the Athenaeum Hall, Cape Town, by Disney Roebuck and company on 1 August, with The Bushranger (Anon.)



F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.

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